Storm Lake Times
Perhaps no industry has attracted such widespread infamy for its handling of COVID-19 this year as the nation’s meatpackers. As the pandemic spread across the country, one plant after another became a hotbed of the virus, which exploded onto unprepared communities as companies fought to keep their plants open and the meat coming.
ProPublica first wrote about the risks facing meatpacking workers before the outbreaks occurred, then documented how the industry ignored years of warnings, blindsiding local health officials and leaving workers to serve as kindling when COVID-19 arrived
But to understand how things got to this point — how American cities came to be held hostage to global meat corporations — there may be no better place to go than Waterloo, where the outbreak at Tyson’s pork plant took a stunning toll on both workers and the community.